BOE Policy Board refuses graduation policy change

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 24, 2003

Rejecting a proposal sent before it this week, the Board of Education’s Policy Review Board unanimously voted to retain the current graduation policy that allows only those receiving a graduation diploma to participate in the graduation ceremony.

This action was presented to the Board of Education’s members in a special meeting, Wednesday night, at the BOE’s office, prompting the members to pass a resolution allowing the students in Butler County who have passed their Carnegie units, but have NOT passed all parts of the graduation exam and will NOT receive a diploma, to march in the county’s graduation ceremonies this year.

The resolution also will send the policy to the School Policy Handbook Review Committee this summer to be considered again for permanent change to accommodate those students in the graduation ceremony, even though they will not receive diplomas.

The policy review board again will make the final determination on the matter.

Voting for the resolution were board members Joanne Peak, Linda Hamilton and Terry Williams. Voting against the resolution was Frank Thigpen. Chairman Billy Jones abstained.

When asked whether or not there was a time limit for changing the graduation policy before the ceremonies are scheduled to take place, Butler County Superintendent Dr. Mike Reed responded that there currently wasn’t one.

&uot;It would make sense to have a time period in advance of these activities in which policy can’t be changed concerning them,&uot; Reed said. &uot;It isn’t fair to tell these students they can or can’t graduate, and then notify them a day before the ceremony that the policy has been changed. But I doubt that you will ever get a resolution to that effect to pass with the board. We need it, but you’ll never get them to go for it.&uot;

As it stands, the parents who petitioned the board to allow their non-graduating students to &uot;walk&uot; in the county’s graduation programs will get their wish this year, but the matter still isn’t resolved.

&uot;We will have to wait until this summer to see what the Handbook Committee recommends and what the Policy Review Board decides about those recommendations,&uot; Assistant to the Superintendent Wayne Boswell said.